Black Crate

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Name: C1
Nickname: Black Crate
Designed by: Bogdanov and Bogdanov
Date: 2003

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Designed to carry 4 milk crates and to be easily replicated, the rugged C1 is a key component of Disorient infrastructure.

Milk Crates

The shape and size of the C1 are derived from a smaller organizational unit: the milk crate. Milk crate dimensions. Internal: 18"x12"x10.25"; external: 19"x13"x11". Stackable, versatile and widely available, the industrial milk crate is a great storage solution for small components. C1 crates are designed to store 4 industrial stackable milk crates. Lesser quality plastic crates sold in supermarkets usually do not stack up properly with industry-standard milk crates and should not be used.


Easy to fabricate and repair, the C1 can be built with basic 3/4" plywood. CDX plywood works fine although better plywood such as AC is preferable. Top cover should be cut 1/8" smaller than bottom in both dimensions so it can close and open easily. Cover is preferably held in place with ratchet strap(s) but can also be screwed into the sides from the top.
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C1s are fabricated by different hands and often made of recycled 3/4” plywood. The ease of fabrication of the C1 is aligned with the distributed logic of Disorient.


Crate is painted flat black inside and outside. Description of content can be written with chalk on narrow sides under handles and washed-off and updated when necessary. Disorient logo is spray painted on long side.


Many types of handle can be used but the Penn Elcom H1053K (the K stands for black) is our favorite. They can be purchased here or picked-up in NYC at Canal HiFi 319 Canal Street or at Canal Merchandise 331 Canal Street for instance. Two handles on each narrow side (top of handle plate is 2" from top of crate body, side of handle against corner protector). Early version had only 1 handle per narrow side.
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We use 3 in. Semi-Elastic Rubber Swivel Caster from Home Depot. Don't use cheaper casters as they break and/or don't working properly. Early C1 model had one caster with brake but users unaware of brake would push crate with brake on which caused wheel to scrape in one place and no longer roll properly. Casters are screwed in place at each corner. They used to be bolted through bottom of crate but screws are strong enough and allow casters to be closer to the corner of crate bottom which helps with stability.
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Special cases

In 2009 The Eye and KCR designed and fabricated the D9 Sign. It is roughly the same dimensions as other Black Crates but opens in half to reveal the artwork--a multilayered D9 wood cutout and painted pornj with black lights--eliminating the need to pack/unpack and making install/deinstall as simple and fast as possible. Open, plug and play.
In 2012 Jay M. and John D. fabricated a series of Black Crates at the Dock. One of them was designed with special compartments to carry Disorient's LED black lights. The outside dimensions were the same as other Black Crates. After months of usage we discovered that our LED black lights fit perfectly in milk crates, allowing many more black lights to fit in a black crate and freeing us from crates that can only be used to carry specific items, making the entire system more flexible.


Halo (2011) is an artwork/crate based on similar concept as the D9 Sign. It expands the concept with curves and stackable pieces.
Halo stack 1.jpg Halo stack 2.jpg Halo GlamTech2012 1.jpg

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